Foxit eSlick review
A good reading experience is marred by a high price and unnecessary restrictions
Review Date: 10 Dec 2009
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £165 (£190 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
If the iRiver Story resides at the top of the consumer eBook reader tree, the Foxit eSlick sits firmly at the bottom of it. It’s an altogether less luxurious-feeling product – built from insubstantial black plastic and adorned with cheap-feeling buttons.
It’s hardly surprising given the manufacturer’s background. Foxit isn’t a hardware company, but a software developer famous principally for PDF reader and creation software. Rather than design and develop a reader from the ground-up, it has slapped its logo on the front of someone else’s. It’s effectively the same as the Bookeen Cybook Gen3.
And that means all the same specifications: a basic (though still very readable) 6in E Ink screen with four levels of grey (where the iRiver boasts eight and the Kindle 16); a very basic user interface; and plasticky controls that suit right-handed readers – the page-turn and main navigation control are situated in bottom-right corner of the device. There’s 512MB of internal storage, plus a 2GB SD card in the box, and the device will also play MP3 files.
The device’s big problem is file format support. Our review eSlick would read only TXT and PDF files. The latest firmware release adds ePub and eReader file support, but the update process is fiddly and unreliable. A batch of early devices, of which our review sample was one, simply won’t update.
Even if you get the update to work or manage to buy one with the latest firmware already on it, however, file format support is still pretty thin.
To get around this, Foxit wants you to use the bundled premium PDF creation, management and editing software (worth $70), to convert other files to PDF. The reader meanwhile allows you to “reflow” text in awkward PDFs so they fit the screen better.
However, there are problems with this approach. First, the PDF reflowing is hit and miss, with text often ending up ugly and difficult to read. Second, using software to convert files effectively ties you to one PC.
It isn’t all bad: the eSlick is light and pocketable, and its screen is readable. But its problems, and a high price, mean we can’t recommend it.
Author: Jonathan Bray
Surely a mistake?
Why on the homepage does it say "can this budget reader....." when it's i) not cheap and ii) rated poorly for its high price?!
By pveater on 11 Dec 2009
No mistake, I think
The title ask a question - Can it?
Which is answered in the review - No, seems it can't
By greemble on 11 Dec 2009
Especially when you can get excellent Sony PRS-300 for £139 from WHSmith. I've tried several ebook readers and so far the biggest disappointment was touch-screen devices (like Sony PRS-600) - contrast it so low that reading in dim light made my eyes hurt :(
By Lomskij on 17 Dec 2009
- Europol warns: public Wi-Fi isn't safe
- Privacy groups challenge Facebook's WhatsApp buy
- IDC: iPad intertia opens door for Windows tablets
- Chip breakthrough to eliminate checkout queues
- Rivals put on notice as Spotify snaps up The Echo Nest
- Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaks via Microsoft's website
- Bitcoin "founder" says: you've got the wrong man
- Has bitcoin creator been found?
- HTC Desire 310: more competition for the Moto G
- Mozilla questions why Dell charges £16 to install Firefox
- Move over Delia: IBM Watson is cooking tonight
- Eric Schmidt on the double-edged smartphone: friend and foe
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Nokia XL review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy S5 review: first look
- Nokia X review: first look
- Make the most of your mobile data
- Old-school internet scams: five that just won't die
- Bitcoin believers not worried by Mt. Gox disarray
- How to hack your car
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- Block party: why do millions play Minecraft?
- What to do if you’re still on Windows XP
- Microsoft Word: top 20 secret features
- Measuring me: is your body the future of security?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs
- Invoices and VAT: how to set up your documents correctly
- Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: the best phone for avoiding screen burn
- How much is a social user worth?
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Thunderbolt Bridge: a fast Mac migration tool
- Should you advertise on Twitter?
- How to track a lost smartphone
- Self-publishing success: the best way to sell your book
- 1.6TB SSD: why would you need one?